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The article by David Denby describes the genre of the high school teen age movie.
The villain Stereotyped as
1. The girl who was so popular.
2. She was absolutely cruel to her peers.
3. Outwardly beautiful.
4. She was the queen of the campus because she was so feared.
The Hero Stereotyped as
2. Doesn’t need anyone’s seal of approval
3. Inner Beauty
The idea behind this movie is to put yourself in the place of the hero, victim at first then to be recognized for your true self and triumph in the end.
These movies are trying to depict a time in life when young people are trying to figure out who they are.
It is an awkward stage of life.
This movie type is successful because who can’t identify with that one person who just bugged you during high school?
The audience of the high school kids who are trying to identify with a group which can be summed up by the ending of the movie the Breakfast club.
High-School Confidential: Notes on Teen Movies by David Denby
High-School Confidential: Notes on Teen Movies,
Denby talked about stereotypical male and female villains common in teen movies. The author describes a stereotypical female villain in teen movies as a blonde girl. She is beautiful, tall, and skinny yet, she dresses awful. She is also mean to everyone, and has two or more friends that look just like her. The three other friends would be considered as the villain’s “side kick.” Their job is usually to follow her and agree to whatever she says. Though she is a villain, she is also popular because everyone is afraid of her. Denby goes on to describe a typical male villain as follows: a counterpart of the female villain; the male is usually a football player, he is build up physically, but he is dumb or stupid, and has only two ways of speaking, “in a conspiratorial whisper, to a friend; or in a drill sergeant’s sudden bellow.” He sits with one of his limbs spread out and he is dull in class. But he becomes alive and has total control over everyone in the halls and in the cafeteria. He can choose any good looking girl for himself, but he chooses to bring an awkward girl to a prom and sets her up for humiliation.
In Denby’s view, the teens who cannot be the beautiful ones or who cannot avoid being insulted, teased, or made fun of would be considered heroes of the teen movies. A typical female hero “is usually an intellectual or an artist [(she scribbles in a diary, she draws or paints)].” She is physically awkward, walks in a weird way, and very prone to drop her books and dither in terror when she stand before a handsome boy.
The movie : Not Another Teen movie is one of the interesting teen movies that fit into this category. The villain in this movie was in fact a football player, you could say he is muscular, and he doesn’t quite look like a dumb student. He does has a few friends, he is not a bully. The villain (girl) in this movie is not quite blonde and she is slender. In the movie though she shows more skin to show off here “femininity,” and she has two more friends that looks just like her. The whole movie was based on a bet that this guy would be able to turn a “nerdy” student into the most popular girl in class.
In conclusion, genre films wouldn’t survive if they didn’t provide emotional satisfaction to the people who made them and those who watch them as Denby brought out. All of them are directed toward some part of our emotions, and sometimes even though they are very fictitious, deep down we can imagine something similar taking place in high schools.
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